Sunday, December 1, 2013

NOEL Frame

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
The tree is up and decorated, the mantle and stairway trimmed with a pointsettia and holly garland, mittens hung over the fireplace, the first ornament has been added to the Advent calendar, and the NOEL sign hangs in the stairway.
Like many of you, my family and I have a few favorite ornaments and Christmas decorations that must be in place before the holiday feels right.

Christmas "Noel" Frame

The NOEL frame is one of my personal favorites.  My mother and I made it years ago, and every Christmas for the past 20 years it's been one of the first things to go up to mark the holiday season.  This year I pulled it out of attic storage and was horrified to see nibbled paper all along the edges, unmistakable evidence that some little critter had been appreciating it not for it's decorative quality, but rather it's nutritional value.  
Apparently craft glue is tasty.
 I carefully removed the paper backing and gently peeled the letters from their shipping tags; the only casualty the jingle bell L.
With most of the letters salvaged I set out to rebuild NOEL.

I headed over to the hobby store and purchased a large sheet of green picture frame matting.
(I purchased the full 30" x 36" sheet and cut it myself, as it's more cost effective than purchasing a cut-to-order piece.)

I measured both the inside height and width of the back of my frame...

and cut my matting accordingly.

(When my mother and I first did the project we used an inexpensive, ready-made, straight-off-the-shelf  frame purchased from a discount department store. We simply removed and discarded both the backing and matting that came with the frame.

We then gently pressed the glazier points/brads down tight against the glass to hold it in place.)  

The matting should sit just inside the wooden frame edge leaving space in between the glass and the matting to accommodate the materials used for creating the letters.
(The N was made from craft greenery, the O - a sand dollar, and the E from red and white polymer clay rolled and twisted together.)

The salvaged letters were transferred to new shipping tags; 


the L recreated by hot gluing gold jingle bells onto a new shipping tag.

Cotton string was looped and threaded through the shipping tag.  A liberal amount of glue was put on the back of each shipping tag, and then glued in place directly onto the matte...

ensuring the spacing was even and centered and the tags level.


A very small amount of glue was then wiped across the back of the strings of each shipping tag... 

and glued randomly in place.

The glass was cleaned on both sides to ensure an absence of streak marks.

A steady bead of glue was applied around the inside of the frame where the matte would eventually sit. 

After setting the matte in place, I used the pad of my finger to spread the glue evenly, allowing some of it to fill gaps between the frame and the matte.

 Finally, I allowed the glue to dry completely before hanging it.

With NOEL in place along the stairway, the Christmas Season has officially arrived!

Joyeux Noel,
Bonne Année et bonne santé, mes amis!

All photographs taken by Paulette Rodriguez.

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